Tuesday, September 12, 2006

whew... the rewrite

Well, after sweating the rewrite of Anya's chronicles, I finally managed to get through it with all my hair and teeth (there was much pulling of both to get this one out).

I'm going to repost it here with a request from my readers: please comment. This one is a rough draft of my current assignment for my class (yep, I'm in school again...). I'd like some feedback while there's still enough time to throw it out as junk and write another story.

Thanks so much...

I sat on the cold floor of the white tiled bathroom with my hand on the silver handle of the toilet. Blood pooled between my legs, thick and horror movie red. In the toilet was a lump of tissue slightly larger than my fist -- my unborn child, my miscarried child -- and all I could do is cry.

Should I reach in the toilet and pull out the mass and... do what with it? Take it home by airplane for a "proper burial"? Should I just flush the toilet and send my child to the bowels of the city? Tears rolled down my face, and I looked around the stark white room, noticing that the only color in the room was the blood on the floor and in the toilet.

I flushed, finally. And then I sobbed and choked on my sobs.

Alone in the bathroom, alone in the hotel room, alone in Washington, D.C., I returned to my bed. There was nothing to do that interested me. Not flip channels on the TV, not read the Bible in the top drawer of the nightstand, and certainly not leave the room. Numb, I stared at the wall until I forgot to stare anymore and fell asleep, some time later.

I woke sometime later to a wet feeling beneath me. The sheets were more red than white, and it took quite a bit of effort to wash them in the hotel bathroom to turn them back to a dull pink. The bleeding wouldn't quit, nor did it seem to slow much. Drawing a bath for myself, I sat in water immediately tinged red with blood, wondering about absolution, and thinking of Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat. I drained the water, then refilled the tub. It turned pink as well.

The living nightmare of my unborn mass of tissue swirling its way through the sewers was fresh in my mind, and I relived the whole experience every time I looked at the porcelin toilet wiped fresh with the blood stained towel that cowered behind it, shoved between the toilet and the bathtub.

I remembered the feeling of passing the mass. I remembered how I stretched as it slid out of me, how my body expelled it with painful cramping, and I remembered the resounding plop as it hit the water in the toilet basin. My toddler back home with my husband was born by C-section. I pondered that my only living child is not "of woman born" and my miscarried one slid lifelessly through the birth canal.

I had spoken with my husband, a bit by phone, but there was nothing he could do to help. No words penetrated me, as I was so numb that all others' emotions bounced off of me, while I stayed cold and bitter, empty and lost. He was distant as well, unhappy that he could accomplish nothing for me from half way across the country.

His being a good man didn't help ease the pain. His care and concern didn't provide me with arms to hold me while I cried. His soft voice didn't stop the bleeding. Talking to him on the phone only make my state of aloneness even more acute than it otherwise was.

After I cleaned myself and the bathroom up as best I could, eradicating the evidence of blood as much as possible, I crawled back into bed and pulled a pillow into my lap. Sitting cross legged and strangling the pillow caught in my tight embrace, I returned to staring at nothing.

Another hour passed and I knew that I had to go to the hospital. The blood was just as thick and red as it had been for the entire night, and it was not slowing down. I called an amblulance.

When the gurney was wheeled into my hotel room, with EMT’s and hotel workers alike streaming like cockroaches through my open door, I panicked. They wanted to lay me down on the gurney and strap me in for security… for a miscarriage. I felt like a victim of a heinous crime, on display for everyone to gawk at as they wheeled me through the hotel lobby and loaded me into the ambulance.

It was not long before a young and good-looking doctor came into my semi-private ER room and very quickly said “You know you had a miscarriage, don’t you?” He followed this with small talk asking me about myself, and becoming very uncomfortable upon finding out that I was in town alone for three days. I remember him asking very quietly “Do you want to talk to a social worker?” and being relieved when I thanked him and assured him I did not.

Discharged soon afterwards with a “take it easy for a couple of days”, I walked out of the hospital into the cool late summer three a.m. air. I don’t remember seeing anything, instead staring glumly at all of it. I approached a cab that was waiting at the ER entrance.

“You on duty?”

“Yeah. Where to?”

“I only have a credit card….”

“Not a problem.”

I got in, gave him the name of my hotel, and let the night slide by as the car returned me to my temporary home. There is nothing lonelier that I have known than leaving a hospital in the middle of the night by cab and returning to an empty hotel room.

While I was gone, the very courteous staff at the hotel had had my room completely changed; fresh sheets, fresh towels, and a clean (and white!) bathroom. It was sterile and oddly comforting.

When I fell into a fitful sleep, I dreamed of a beautiful little girl, horribly disfigured in a human form but with a glorious angelic face as a cosmic being. She smiled at me and caressed my face and told me that she was okay, and that I would be too.


redwulf said...

As I'm not a writer, I don't know as I can give you any "creative" input....But I like it.

redwulf said...

Upon further reflection, I'm wondering why you changed to the ER visit as opposed to keeping with the Chronicles...?
I think it reads better in Chronicles.

Dach said...

I liked it as the chronicles, but it's nice being able to sit and read it all at once.
I still think this should be shared beyond this little cosmos to touch others.

redwulf said...

I believe she said she's doing it as an assignment for class, but even that's not truly "sharing it"...I agree with dach.

FrierFly said...

The ending seems a bit chopped, I'll have to go back to the chronicles to see if something is missing. Other than that, I have no complaints. I do have an atta-girl for sharing this experience with others.